David Lewis Brooks
Basically, I am staying at home and being the wise, but quite, granddad to the Brooks-Yamaguchi family. Our older son, also an Associate Professor at Asia University (not too far from our home) lives with his Japanese wife and two daughters, aged 7 and 4 (almost 5). His wife, Yuki, works as a student affairs officer (foreign student admissions) at KUFS (Kanda University of Foreign Studies), located a short bicycle ride from our homes. I say 'homes' since we live just a block away from our son's and his family's residence.
I had first joined the teaching staff at Kitasato’s Sagamihara campus in April, 1996, as an emergency teacher recruited by Prof. Yukio Seya in March of that year to fill a sudden part-time English teacher vacancy. I was subsequently employed as a full-time teacher member of
Photo taken August 2023 at the circular road in Tama Bochi Cemetery, Fuchu, Tokyo. These are crepe myrtle trees in full bloom from July to October annually. It's a bit rare to have two large crepe myrtle growing side-by-side in the cemetery, so they are a favorite sight on our daily dog walkings into the Tama Bochi (cemetery).
the English Language Unit a month into the school following year, and has continued in the position of Associate Professor until my mandatory retirement in March 2019. Why a month later start? Actually, I was a part-time teacher with 6 weekly classes, which was the same as a full-time teacher's workload. By then asking that I be made a full-timer (once I was already employed), then they didn't have to open the 'new' position up to public applications from both presently employed part-timers as well as outsider. It was a strategic political employment move. I continue for three years as a contract (full-time) employee, before being made full-fledged faculty member (Assistant Professor), and eventually attained Associate Professorship in approximately 10 years further. I never considered even asking to be a Full Professor because I considered that my Japanese language skills were not sufficient to complete all of the duties required a full professor. However, I will never actually know if I was considered qualified to seek that promotion or not, because my own Department Head retired and I had several other colleagues that I would have had to compete with to become Professor Brooks. More money, but more work and many ore headaches (if you ask me). Therefore, I happily remained an Associate Professor until I retired in March 2019. Retirement became mandatory at the age of 65 year-of-age for all, but esteemed Professor Emeritus, of which there were one appointed every couple of years.
After my official retirement, I was asked to teach one further year as an Adjunct Professor under a part-time teacher's salary for five courses on three days a week (Mondays - one class, Tuesday - 2 classes and Thursday - 2 classes). This arrangement, by the way, was how I started teaching part-time at Kitasato University first in the 1996-97 academic year.
The LAST PLANS in the above paragraph DID NOT actually MATERIALIZE, and when COVID-19 hit the world, my Third Life Career is was now put on hold and is, therefore, being reconsidered. That is purpose of this entry: To review those three years of dormancy (rather like hibernation) would probably be a helpful move at this juncture of my existence.
January 2020 - June 2021
Photo taken February 2022 at the Diamond Head Road leading into Kapiolani Park, Honolulu, Hawaii
A) From January 2020 until June 2021, I was involved in the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Public Leadership Credential, where I completed six different six-week long graduate courses in an online coursework format that included weekly group work (for one of weeks of each course I was the group leader and completing a personally focused individualized weekly assignment, plus completing a challenging final written exam.
Along the way, I had three very distinguished, challenging, and interesting professors and got to work in detail with dozens of highly qualified and tenacious graduate students, who were also pursuing the same Harvard graduate credential.
Photo taken May 2022 at the Tama River side park, not far from Tokyo Parkway Bridge at Inagi, Fuchu, Tokyo
To be honest, taking the coursework (actually 3/5ths of a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government) was a the fulfillment of a personal challenge that I had envisioned pursuing more than a decade ago. At the time, after designating Harvard KSG as my first choice for a graduate institution at the time of taking the GRE, I received a letter of invitation from Harvard Kennedy School asking me to complete the necessary steps to apply for admission. Probably the main reason was because I had scored a perfect 6 on the then newly instigated GRE Writing Test, which had only just begun the very year that I had re-taken the GRE.
There is no doubt that I found the six courses in the Public Leadership Credential at Harvard KSG to be academically challenging, but they were not impossible and I found the course content, the professors, and working with my fellow course-mates to be interesting, rewarding and a great learning experience (almost without exception). However, I believe that I came to realize that simply cooperating and competing with my other Harvard online classmates was not the activity that really excited my intellectual interests or challenged my internal soul-searching to find a meaningful post-retirement career.
Most of my own personally-meaningful assignments for those six courses were related to my current passion at the time: Finding or creating an organization (or group) that can assist impoverished families in Hawaii, particularly those living under stark economic realities of today's world (who can absolutely be categorized a 'poor' families and individuals who are economically disadvantaged, to find affordable housing (either by buying, renting, or sharing a portion of a group-owned lodging).
Actually, that leads me to my July 2021 - January 2023 phase, which involved trying to set up both a non-profit, called Philantropical.org, and a for-profit travel-related business, called Rainbow Travel Network, Inc., both of which I have now closed.
Let me explain more in the next section.
July 2021 - January 2023
B) My Entrepreneurial Phase -- Starting Two Business that I closed even before they could actually start.
Part II-A From January 2021 through January 2023, I was busy trying to set up both a non-profit, called Philantropical.org, and also a for-profit travel-related business, called Rainbow Travel Network, Inc., both of which I subsequently have now closed.
Photo taken June 2023 at the Old Windmills Strand located near the main port / harbor on Mykonos Island, Greece
Setting up Philantropical.org (a non-profit organization) was not too difficult. In fact, inside the State of Hawaii, it was painless and virtually easy-peasy-Japanesy (as we often say in the Brooks household). Even when I decided to make the non-profit be recognized nationwide (in the US), it was not very difficult to secure the paperwork and to get registered and verified as a US nationwide non-profit organization by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The difficulty arose when it came to the actual details of the non-profit tax designation and assigned levels of tax compliance as a non-profit organization. While it was still recognized as a non-profit, for tax purposes, it was designated as a XXXXXX non-taxed organization and the paperwork and tax forms required were just too laborious and time-consuming to be acceptable (at least for me alone).
I quickly realized that I could not sustain that level of complicated book-keeping and convoluted tax reporting that such a designation required. I subsequently decided to dissolve the non-profit organization, thus appearing to 'officially' abandon its mission: helping disadvantaged and underprivileged families to cope with the regulations and restrictions needed in order to live in a house on the Big Island of Hawaii.
To be continued.....
Part II-B Rainbow Travel Network, Inc.
Photo taken March 2012 at the Marine Park located near _____ on the island of Gran Canaria, The Canary Islands, Spain (my own underwater photography with my own camera)
The second part of my plan was to establish a travel services company that acted as an 'arranger' for travel services to be provided to small (3-7) or medium-sized (8-24) people. The 'trips' are not actually solely for the purpose of travel, but have the ultimate goal of providing 'free' assistance to people, organizations (such as non-profits and public corporations), to help animal and plant life in a specific region, and (or) to improve the environmental conditions in a specific locale in order to reach their fullest (and highest) potentials. The eco-trips or 'edutreking' sojourns would be in my current home country (Japan) or abroad; they could be free (if a sponsor will pay expenses) or their costs could be reduced by donations and payments from the beneficiary groups, or they could be totally self-supported (paid for my the volunteers own monetary contributions).
Examples of such 'trips' could include any or a combination of the following eco-trips or 'edutreking' experiences:
c) Conduct an environmental clean-up workday in specific area needing human labor of volunteers (in Florida after the last major hurricane damage),
d - z) there are countless more examples, etc... But hopefully, you get the idea: human volunteers helping our planet and its environment, its peoples and the animal & plant livelihoods.
Photo taken February 2022 at the Beach 67 not far from Spencer Beach, near Kawaihae, Big Island, Hawaii
From January 2023 until the present (Sept 2023), I was mostly at my home in Tokyo, helping with the chores of grand-child minding, cooking and cleaning house. I did find the time and resources (money) to travel abroad twice during that time. Both times, I visited Europe; actually, I visited Spain and Germany twice as my favorite European cities are Munich and Barcelona.